The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364573-882-3364  or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.



  • MPR News set out to delve into an underreported fact -- that Minnesota’s high school graduation rates for students of color rank among the very worst in the nation -- and ended up making a profound discovery: Minnesota devotes less to non-classroom student support than any state. The category includes guidance counselors, social workers, nurses and mental health counselors, attendance staff and other positions that education experts says are key to keeping students at risk of dropping out of school on the path to graduations. The link between support spending and graduation rates appears to be stronger than other oft-mentioned factors to explain low rates for students of color. http://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/06/01/grad-gap-highlights

    Tags: None

    Minnesota Public Radio

    2016

  • After the fatal police shooting of Philando Castile during a traffic stop in a St. Paul suburb, MPR News set out to investigate whether black drivers were disproportionately stopped by the law enforcement agency involved with Castile’s death. MPR analyzed thousands of traffic citations in a five-year period from the St. Anthony police department and focused our investigation on stops in which police had the most discretion to pull someone over. They expected to see some level of racial disparity, but the results were staggering.

    Tags: traffic stop; shooting; police

    Minnesota Public Radio

    2016

  • A spike in childhood cancers in Waycross, Georgia causes this small town to wrestle with questions about the causes of cancer, whether their community is safe, whether they should trust the government agencies that are supposed to protect them.

    Tags: childhood cancer; cancer;

    WebMD

    2016

  • In “Denied,” the Houston Chronicle revealed that a group of Texas state officials had arbitrarily decided what percentage of students should receive special education services and had enforced the benchmark by intensely auditing school districts for “over-identification.” The effort, which began in 2004 but was never announced and remained completely unknown outside of district special education departments, saved the state billions of dollars but denied critical help to tens of thousands of children with disabilities. As a result, the Chronicle reported, Texas now provides special education services to a lower percentage of its students than any other state in the country – by far. If Texas gave services at the same rate as everybody else, more than 250,000 more children in the state would be receiving services such as tutoring, counseling and therapy.

    Tags: schools; special education; disabled children

    Houston Chronicle

    2016

  • "Testing the Waters" is a two-part investigation into concerns of lead contamination in local drinking water on the Alabama Gulf Coast. After an extensive analysis of public records, FOX10 News Investigates found eight water systems across Mobile and Baldwin counties have had testing results above the legal limit for lead content in the last three years. Further, FOX10 News found local public schools were not previously testing for lead content, so we requested to test for them. As a result of our investigation, both Mobile and Baldwin County Public Schools started testing some of its older schools that could be at risk. Moreover, during the course of our investigation, the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) has announced it will help test all public schools over the next three years.

    Tags: water; lead; schools; department of education

    WALA-TV (Mobile, Ala.)

    2016

  • WTAE TV revealed waste, mismanagement and conflicts of interest at the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Emails showed turnpike officials congratulating themselves for their response to a storm that left more than 500 drivers stranded for more than 20 hours. Records revealed turnpike commissioners getting take-home cars even though they meet only once a month. Documents showed a turnpike commissioner cutting personal business deals with turnpike vendors. All this occurred as the turnpike hiked tolls and cut back on projects to deal with a financial crisis.

    Tags: turnpike; infrastructure; roads;

    WTAE-TV (Pittsburgh)

    2016

  • The Daily Wildcat set out to answer the age old question: where's the party at? Through FOIAs for police records The Daily Wildcat was able to collect data on where the Tucson Police Department had issued red tags, which are the citations for unruly gatherings that are commonly doled out when parties get out of hand. They created a heat map of the red tags issued around campus and created interactive data visualizations on the frequency of when red tags were issued by day of the week and calendar month.

    Tags: college; university; parties; police records; data visualization

    Daily Wildcat (Univ. of Arizona)

    2016

  • A yearlong investigation by Telemundo and The Weather Channel gathered evidence that child labor is commonplace during the coffee harvest in Chiapas, the poorest state in Mexico -- illustrating in stark, human terms the failures and limitations of an elaborate global system of third-party monitoring established by the coffee industry to assure its sourcing is ethical, and a violation of international agreements and laws meant to prohibit child labor. By following the supply chain to the source, the investigation also revealed how global agreements and the laws of nations prohibit such labors by children, who were found filling and lugging heavy bags of coffee while living in harsh conditions. Result: A documentary in which reporters take viewers on a gritty, real-world tour to the bottom of the murky coffee supply chain, where feel-good marketing clashes with harsh realities socially conscious consumers may find surprising if not shocking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J--_FLOz1jk

    Tags: mexico; child labor; coffee;

    Telemundo KTMD Houston, TX

    2016

  • Los Angeles Times journalists combined shoe-leather reporting with sophisticated digital tools to unravel the tangled web of political donors linked to a controversial $72-million apartment project, resulting in enhanced scrutiny.

    Tags: los angeles; political donors; apartment project;

    L.A. Times

    2016

  • A searchlight on Saudi Arabia exposes covert support for Islamic terrorists, nagging tensions over religious strictness and the hajj pilgrimage calamity.

    Tags: None

    New York Times

    2016